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Where in the World are You?...Guoliang Tunnel Road; Guoliang, China

Updated on March 23, 2014
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Where in the World are You? #65

I first found information on this location a few months ago put have been putting of this Where in the World are You for unknown reasons. Recently as I was sitting in the mostly dark family room at 3am I saw a television commercial for a new breed of American sports car, made by one of the oldest American car companies. It was this ad that inspired me to write this, and perhaps buy one of these particular automobiles.

For this location we return to a previously visited country, though we find ourselves in a different part of it. Seems fitting that we return here, everyone I know who has been here (which is maybe two or three people) have all vowed to return one day. I am not referring to the Philippines, nor am I referring to Douglas McArthur; way before my time.

Construction began in the seventies, with absolutely no assistance from the government, which comes as a bit of a surprise considering where it is located and the manner in which the country is governed, one would think the government has it’s hands in everything; everything of value I suppose. It seems the local population was fed up with the arduous process required to resupply the village, a real chore from what I’ve read, so they decided to take it upon themselves to build a road from the valley floor to the cliff upon which their village was perched. When they were finished, six years later, the tunnel stretched ¾’s of a mile from top to bottom.

When I first saw the photos and saw the “windows” that dotted the length of the tunnel I thought of the vomitoriums of ancient Rome, surprisingly not what you might think they were, but as it turns out these windows were created as a method of removing the rubble from within the tunnel. Very nice work for apparently untrained craftsmen working with hand tools (I could not find any information that indicated one way or the other if they had the benefit of explosives). So, once again…Where in the World are You?

Guoliang Tunnel Road; Guoliang, China

Prior to the 1970’s, the only means of ingress and egress into the Chinese village of Guoliang was a precarious, and if you see the photos of it you will understand, path from the valley floor to the village that was perched high above. The residents of the village petitioned the Chinese government for assistance in the construction of a road from the valley floor to the village but they were rebuffed by Beijing.

In 1972 the residents of the village of Guoliang took it upon themselves to build a road to ease the path of travel for residents and visitors alike. As the story goes, the villagers sacrificed a considerable portion of their material possessions to acquire the tools necessary to commence and complete the construction of the road. As you may have guessed, or maybe not, the manner in which they built the road, as a continuous tunnel, was the easiest method to do it. It sounds strange really, building nearly a mile long tunnel, allegedly with nothing more than hand tools, was the easiest method; if one considers the complexity of building a conventional road and having to clear the entire cliff side above it, it becomes clear how much work they saved themselves.

Work was completed on the Guoliang Tunnel Road in 1977 but it did not feature in a Cadillac commercial until 2012.

http://www.ssqq.com/archive/vinlin27a.htm

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    • aspieadult profile image

      aspieadult 4 years ago

      The Guoliang Tunnel in the Tiahang mountains of China's Henan Province.

      After some hesitation (because it seems all gov'ts want their hands in things of value), China was my first guess. Also, there are villages in China.

      But I did not search for a chinese tunnel, instead I searched for a 'cliff tunnel', and found a pic that resembled your pic slightly, and when I read that it was in China, I knew it had to be the right place.

      This was a quick find :)

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, That is the Guoliang Tunnel in the Shanxi Province in China. This one was difficult! But I found the photo, so that's it. Waiting for the next one, and have a good day.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I have no idea, but I'm looking forward to the answer. Fascinating.

    • Little two two profile image

      LyttleTwoTwo 4 years ago from Canada

      This is a picture of a tunnel in a mountain in China called Guoliang Tunnel. It's considered one of the most dangerous tunnels/roads.

    • profile image

      mours sshields 4 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      Looks interesting, intriguing, and beautiful!

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Hi Ryan

      This was a tough one, we were all over the place.

      We were in - Chile, Zion (UTAH), Bolivia, Mexico, Australia and even the caves in Nottingham, England!

      Finally Callum had a brainstorm and found China.

      The answer is - The Guoliang Tunnel

      The Guoliang Tunnel is carved along the side of and through a mountain in China. The tunnel is located in the Taihang Mountains which are situated in the Shanxi Province of China. Photos of the road are often misidentified as photos of the "Road of Death" in Bolivia.[1]

      Before the tunnel was constructed, access to the nearby Guoliang village was limited to a difficult path carved into the mountainside. The village is nestled in a valley surrounded by towering mountains cut off from civilization. In 1972 a group of villagers led by Shen Mingxin decided to carve a road into the side of the mountain. They raised money to purchase hammers and steel tools. Thirteen villagers began the project. The tunnel is 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) long, 5 metres (16 ft) tall and 4 metres (13 ft) wide. Some of the villagers died in accidents during construction. On 1 May 1977 the tunnel was opened to traffic.[citation needed] The creation of the tunnel was a major leap forward for the villagers, as it became a tourist attraction when China opened its borders for tourists. Several hotels have been built to accommodate all these people.

      The tunnel is about 4000 meters and is 16 meters high and 13 wide.

      Were also carved in the wall windows, where you have an overwhelming view of the entire landscape. This is one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

      We have truly enjoyed this Wit Way, and are looking forward to number 67.

      All the best from your #1 fans.

      Callum & Ian :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Interesting. Will look forward to where this peaceful setting exists.

    • rlbert00 profile image
      Author

      rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

      aspieadult...Welcome back and nicely done, it is the Guoliang Tunnel Road in China. I thank you for taking the time to read and comment and look forward to your next submission.

    • rlbert00 profile image
      Author

      rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

      joanveronica...Nicely done, you are absolutely right. Thank you once again for your continued participation.

    • rlbert00 profile image
      Author

      rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

      UnnamedHarald...I too found this place absolutely fascinating and even more so after researching the history of it. Thank you once again for your continued participation.

    • rlbert00 profile image
      Author

      rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

      Little two two...Welcome to my little brain teaser, I hope that you enjoyed it. Your submission is correct, it is the Guoliang Tunnel Road in China. I thank you for your participation.

    • rlbert00 profile image
      Author

      rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

      mours sshields...I appreciate your continued participation. Those are excellent adjectives to describe this location and I look forward to hearing from you again.

    • rlbert00 profile image
      Author

      rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

      Ian and Callum...Aah yes, my arch nemeses (and yes I that is the plural of nemesis, I looked it up). I'm kidding of course, thought I'd try being a little "cheeky". I'm glad that I had you guys all over the globe looking for this one, a small phyrrhic victory of sorts, I'll take them where I can get them. Thanks you guys for the continued participation and support, another excellent effort.

    • rlbert00 profile image
      Author

      rlbert00 4 years ago from USA

      teaches12345...I apologize if I kept you waiting too long because I so appreciate you stopping by to take the time to read and comment. It is the Guoliang Tunnel Road in China. Thank you once again.

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